Teaching kids about money is child's play

Teaching kids about money is child's play

Setting up and running a company takes more than just having a good business idea, as entrepreneurs Audrey Tan and Lee Min Xuan know all too well.

The partners are the founders of PlayMoolah, an online platform that teaches financial literacy to children through games.

Their idea for the venture came almost four years ago while on internship in the United States.

They saw the effects of the 2008 mortgage crisis and felt that greater financial literacy could have prevented many people from making bad monetary decisions.

"We knew we had a great idea, but we needed funding, exposure and people - a core team with experience in finance app development and design," said Ms Tan, 25.

They spent many months working late, designing their own animations for the app and managing accounts.

Eventually the pair managed to garner financial support from a pool of local and foreign investors, including academics and bosses of more established local start-ups, allowing them to launch PlayMoolah in 2011.

PlayMoolah is based at The Hub Singapore, a community and co-working space that has received a $100,000 grant from the National Youth Council.

Ms Tan and Ms Lee, 26, say they have benefited from being part of this pro-enterprise environment.

"Its cosmopolitan culture inspires us and helps us see from different perspectives, and helps our goal of teaching children different perspectives of money to inspire wise money decisions," added Ms Tan.

Last year, Playmoolah rolled out its online platform for the US market and also won the Top Start-up award at the 2012 Innotribe Startup Challenge.

It also partnered OCBC Bank as part of the bank's Mighty Savers programme for children.

The partners are also giving back to the start-up community.

Ms Lee is mentoring a local start-up publication while holding leadership workshops and speaking at seminars.

Ms Tan is participating in talks, classes and panel discussions aimed at inspiring potential entrepreneurs to put their ideas into actions.

She told The Sunday Times that Singapore's start-up scene is "not mature, but it's definitely burgeoning, with a lot of support from (angel investors and) the Government".

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